There has been much talk of existential crises during the pandemic, and for far, far too many people their particular crisis became not just a reality but the tragic end of their existence.

So with the usual proviso that nothing, but nothing, matters more than preserving the lives of people during this time of the virus, we can at last look ahead to the restarting of rugby and other sports.

First of all, however, commiserations to all at Melrose for the cancellation of this year’s Sevens. They had hoped to play the Sevens at the place where this form of rugby was invented at some point later in the year, but the correct decision has been made to abandon this year’s tournament altogether. Let’s make sure that when they return, Melrose and all the other Sevens get the fullest possible support of the Scottish rugby community.

That community, including the Scottish Rugby Union, has responded to the crisis in an almost wholly admirable and responsible fashion, but let’s be honest with each other here – we need to get the most important people in sport back in action, namely the players and the fans.

The training regimes put in place are as safe and helpful as they could possibly be for the players, though I suspect there will be more than a few injuries if players rush back to full training. It’s the fans I worry about, however.

As the television coverage of football matches is showing, professional football and, by extension, professional rugby without fans is an almost fatuous atmosphere-less nonsense. Professional sport is part of the entertainment business, so could you imagine a brilliant comedian like Kevin Bridges playing to a canned laughter track? I suspect that’s what playing top level sports is like at the moment – as Jock Stein so famously said, football is nothing without fans, and that goes for rugby, too.

The correct solution should have been for us all to wait for a vaccine and cure before beginning anything as trivial as sport. Yet that might put clubs in major sports out of business, and we all have to start again sometime.

It’s not just a patriotic boast to say that conditions in Scotland are more favourable now thanks to the principal fact that Scottish people largely followed the rules laid down by the Scottish Government. I would have expected no other outcome of my fellow Scots and while I hae ma doots about some of their actions – why go for a four nations strategy with a Prime Minister you called dangerous last year? – it has to be said that Nicola Sturgeon and her Government have by and large played a blinder.

Everything must now be aimed at stopping a second wave of coronavirus, which is why I am very uneasy about matches being played next month, especially if the plan to turn BT Murrayfield into a giant test lab is followed.

If it was the case that English clubs were coming up to play Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors I’d be screaming NO, for obvious reasons – Boris Johnson might put the economy before lives, but we should resist anything that might see infections come across the Border. And if that means checks at the Border then so be it, or does Jackson Carlaw and co believe the preservation of their Precious Union is more important than saving Scottish lives?

No cross-border invasions now, and not for a long while. The whole point about rugby crowds is that they mix freely and there is no segregation at internationals – though sadly I feel that day will come as behaviour deteriorates – which means people infected with the virus could unknowingly spread it if they go to a match in another country.

The SRU has done everything by the book in planning the re-start, and worked closely with the Scottish Government and other agencies as they confront arguably the most important changes in the sport since the advent of professionalism in 1995.

Now we all know the SRU didn’t exactly handle that transition well, to put it mildly. I well recall amateurs in blazers at Murrayfield trying to cope with a situation which, lest if be forgotten, they fought tooth and nail to prevent, and by common consent the SRU took years to catch up with other Unions that went hell for leather for professionalism. I know Scotland didn’t have the rugby and cash resources of other countries, and it showed for years.

Times change, however, and as it confronts the worst crisis ever to hit rugby in the professional era, I believe the SRU can handle the all-important re-start of our game. It may surprise you to read that, but I just feel the administrators, coaches, players and fans of Scottish rugby can achieve not just survival but future success. We Scots always do better when we work together, and the glorious game that is rugby might just show others the way ahead.